Christiane Cruz moved to the United States from her native Germany over 25 years ago, but she always struggled with her English in situations with heavy background noise. It was beginning to discourage her from socializing in crowded or noisy places, but with the help of Posit Science and the Brain Fitness Program she has strengthened both her comprehension and her confidence.
“I was beginning to really dread being in situations where a lot of people were talking to me, or if people were talking to me really quietly, or if there was a lot of background noise,” she said. “I would just pretend to understand even though I couldn’t.” But after using the Brain Fitness Program for a few months, she found it easier to tune out distracting sounds and home in on the person she wanted to hear. It allowed her to capture more from her conversations and gave her more confidence in unpredictable social situations.
“It was getting frustrating because I wasn’t feeling comfortable going out as much,” she said. “It’s not like I secluded myself but using the Brain Fitness Program really helped me feel more comfortable in those situations.”
Now 47, Christiane first learned English in elementary school, which is common in Germany. But after getting married and moving to the United States, she learned the difference between understanding a language and being fluent. “When I first came here I was really lost in a way because we don’t learn the slang or anything like that,” she said. “But you pick all that up after a few months.”
Even after adjusting to the vocabulary of American English, Christiane still had trouble distinguishing between certain sounds, especially the subtle ones that native speakers know instinctively.
“So I tried the Brain Fitness Program and I’m very thankful because it’s made a big difference,” she said. “Especially with the P’s or the T’s and softer sounds, it really helped a lot.”